The new Jackson County Adult Detention Center is one step closer to reality. For over a decade, Jackson County has been hard at work trying to replace their 35 year old jail. After considering 27 other locations and changing architects, officials finally turned over some dirt on Kenneth Avenue, and just like that, Jackson County closes the chapter of planning and opens the chapter of construction for the new Adult Detention Center. Troy Ross, Jackson County Supervisor for District 4, says, "What we’re building here today is not only big enough to meet the needs of the county, it’s going to be big enough to meet the needs of the county for years to come.”
The 27.6 million dollar project in Pascagoula will replace the current detention center, which was built in 1979. Charles Britt, Interim Sheriff of Jackson County, says, "This facility they’ve had over here, I used to come over here as a rookie patrolman and drop people off. That was a long time ago. When I took a walk over there as sheriff, it looks almost like it did 25 years ago, which is kind of scary." The new detention center is set to double the capacity of the current one, and county officials say it has been a long time coming Ray Bates, Chief Deputy of Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, says, "This jail will be built to standards that the American Correctional Association deems necessary. We can get this jail accredited." Former warden, Bates, served as Director of the current detention center for years before he was appointed Chief Deputy under Interim Sheriff Britt. Bates says he's excited about the facility that took almost two decades to finalize.
Bates also says, "It’s going to be a modern facility that will allow the officers to work in a safe environment. It will allows the inmates to have a safe environment to live in, but most importantly it will provide the community with a safe housing area for the inmates that are there." Construction crews have already been prepping the ground for the last month. The new jail is set to be completed by spring of 2015. County officials say they hope that once the jail is standing, that it will be deterrent for criminal minded people, while avoiding the lawsuits and issues they faced with the overcrowded current detention center.